Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Budget Re-Vamp.

Hi My Loves,

I need your advice: I HAVE to re-vamp the budget. 

I’ve been carrying around a tracking sheet that functions much like Gail’s Budget Binder – it’s just a sheet titled ‘Expense Tracking’, with an amount at the top where I note how much I’ve allotted, and a grid to track the date, and a descending amount of what’s left in the hypothetical ‘jar’. This works. I’m not knocking it. It got me out of debt. However, I’m in a different spot now, and need to re-work it to suit me. 

Perhaps I can just use one page for all? Or just carry the full cash amount of the week’s budge in my wallet {$100}? W

hat do you all think?

Please share some of your budge tricks with me in the comments below. I’d love to hear about them! 


*Canadian Girl

Monday, August 23, 2010


The bf just got a new place.  It’s a rental, in the city, and closer to me.  I’m excited, really I am.  But I sure as hell hope he doesn’t think we’ll be hangin’ all the time.  Not that I don’t want to; that’s not the idea.  I love being with him, just not all the time.  I like that we have two separate lives and come together on weekends.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this goes as planned.

He’s been fah-reaking out about finances now that he’ll be furnishing, paying bills and renting his own place.  So, what did *Canadian Girl do?  I had him make a budget.  That’s right.  All hail the budget!  He was able to see what money would be coming in, flowing out, and where he could save still.  He’s given himself a budget of $2,000 for “new” things – ie.) furniture, tv, cable/internet set up.  And he’s managing to come in under.  How?  CRAIGSLIST! 

By utilizing Craigslist to find someone’s like-new junk and fashion it for himself, we think he’s saved almost a grand on his overall moving costs.  He’s taken some decorative items and an old chair, lamp and couch from my parents’ place, my mom is doing his bathroom as a housewarming gift, got a Queen bed new and in the packaging for $40, a stand-up lamp for $10, brand new carpet for $20, and a dresser for $15.  He will be using a kitchen table from his sister’s old university apartment, and will be buying new bedding and a new mattress cover.  You think it will be a mish-mash, but with a little paint and some imagination, I think we can pull this off.  He also got a tv stand yesterday – a floor model – marked from $1,499 to $445.  A steal and it’s a gorgeous piece that he will keep.

Whoever said moving had to cost tons?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Mental Health Dayz.

I'm taking two days off from work.

I hate this job so much that I'm getting to my wits end mentally.  I have NEVER in my life taken time off work "just because".  I've always had a purpose to taking time off, and this time, there isn't any purpose besides myself.  I guess that's as good a reason as any, right?!


*Canadian Girl

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

CIBC and Citibank.

CIBC has recently announced that it’s purchased Citibank’s portfolio of credit cards here in Canada.  The purchase, expected to go thru as of October 31st, is in line with an effort for CIBC to grow its Canadian core operations. 

As a holder of both Citibank and CIBC cards, I can’t help but wonder how I will be affected as a client of both banks.  I get that this effort is bringing the mass market consumer to CIBC – their current offering of mostly Infinite cards brings a higher end clientele – but as a financial professional, I fail to see the merit in the acquisition. 

RBC is the only other Canadian bank that has both Mastercard and Visa.  However, with the Citibank acquisition, it will make CIBC the largest bank to offer both and have the largest market share.  But have they thought about the implications? 

Let’s look at it realistically: The Citibank cards offer perks.  That’s one of their core value propositions.  I have the Citi Platinum Enrich, which offers 1% cash back, and I get a nice cheque in December for a little bit back on purchases I would’ve just made anyway.  Their Petro card gives points on gas, and their Citi Enrich gives cash back as well.  Their Sobeys card gives Club Sobeys points.  Perhaps here they may change it to Aeroplan points {as I currently do with any Sobeys points I get}, which would align that reward with their Aero cards.  How is CIBC going to be able to keep offering the same level of service, rewards, and extra benefits as Citibank when the two card selections are amalgamated to one bank? 

Perhaps the Citi Enrich Platinum will be converted to the CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite {ok, did a little research for that one!}.  This would be fine with me, as it gives 2% cash back.  However, it’s still not a Mastercard.  I like diversification in my limited credit card portfolio and another visa just won’t do it.

They may end up losing more customers who liked the diversity and the fact that Mastercard is accepted worldwide as well. 

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

No Spend Nightmare.

Well, it’s just as the title says.  Lately, I’ve been a total no-spend nightmare.  I’ve been spending like it’s going out of style.  Have I gone over budget?  Yes, maybe once or twice.  Has the overage been drastic?  No.  Not at all.  I guess when you look at it that way, it’s not all that bad. 

Nevertheless, I’m not impressed when I can’t meet simple goals.  This is one goal that was an epic fail for sure.

June’s no-spend days:  7/12.  That’s 58%.  It’s a pass, but barely. 

July looks like it is going to shape up to be the same.  I’m going to try to keep my shiz together for the next couple of days and tie it up, but I highly doubt I’ll be successful. 

Maybe I can just make up for it when the weather isn’t so nice and my closet isn’t in such dire need of clothes to fill it!


*Canadian Girl

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Visa Emergency Cash?

While reading one of my PF forums, I came across info about this Visa Emergency Cash benefit.  See this link here.
Visa offers an ‘Emergency Cash’ benefit when a card is lost, stolen or damaged.  This is something that I serrrrrrrrously didn't know.

WTF dude?  Isn’t that just a cash advance?  

I get that the card may have been lost.   I get that it's an inconvenience.  But if he or she who has lost the card doesn't have a source of cash, doesn't that just strengthen an economical downturn by extending credit to those who can't afford it in the first place?  Perhaps you're in a remote location where you haven't any access to your home accounts; but if it's that remote of a place, you wouldn't be able to use a Visa either.  I still don't see the reason.

 Note that the Visa site talks nothing of interest rates, EAR on the advance, or any potential delivery costs as well.  This is right stupid and just encourages the credit crisis that caused the very recession we’re in!  I can’t even believe this and it rots my socks. 

Ok.  /Rant.  But really.  Why is this even an option for people?  We're just going to have another recession.  So much for an economical upswing....


*Canadian Girl